Waipa to discuss water proposal

30 June 2016
Waipa District Council

Waipa District Council will take its turn next week to discuss its ongoing involvement in a council-controlled organisation (CCO) to manage water infrastructure.

Waipa is considering joining with Waikato District and Hamilton City Council to form a joint organisation to manage water and wastewater. 

All three councils have agreed to form a CCO in principle. But final decisions cannot be made unless new councils elected in October also agree to proceed and until the public has been formally consulted. Consultation is unlikely before 2017.

A draft agreement outlining how a CCO might be structured has been negotiated by a nine-person governance group involving elected members from each council. The agreement would see the three councils combining their water and wastewater assets into a company or partnership jointly owned by the councils on behalf of ratepayers. There would be no other shareholders.

The organisation would not pay dividends to shareholding councils.  Any surplus funds would be reinvested back into the waters network. The CCO would be accountable to all three councils on a range of financial and non-financial targets.

Waikato District Council formally agreed to the proposed structure on Wednesday (June 29) with Hamilton City Council meeting in mid-July. 

Waipa’s discussion, which is open to the public, will be held next Tuesday morning. Copies of the draft agreement being discussed, including a plain English version are available at www.waterstudywaikato.org.nz with hard copies at council offices.

Key elements of a proposed agreement for a Hamilton-Waipa-Waikato water company:

  • A water company would be a council-controlled organisation (CCO) and would be 100 per cent owned by the three councils. There would be no other shareholders.
  • The CCO would own the water and waste water assets of each council and would take over all existing water and wastewater-related debt.
  • The CCO would run water and wastewater on a day-to-day basis. But a Shareholders’ Forum, made up of elected councillors would also set rules about what the CCO could and couldn’t do.
  • The CCO would have an independent Board of Directors. Elected Councillors would not be permitted to sit on the Board.